Of late, I’ve begun what is probably my third run through of Star Trek The Next Generation, a show I never watched much when it was on as it was a little over my head (I think I was six when it premiered), but once it was off the air and in syndication, I got more into it and the older I got, the more I liked it. At this point, I feel like I know the show and the episodes well and now, I’m ready to pick my favorites. This series of posts that will take you through my picks through all seven seasons will probably come to a conclusion mid summer.
And now, for your consideration, here are my picks for the 5 Best Episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Season 1.
“Encounter at Farpoint”
You’ve gotta love the first two episodes of the series. You get to meet the new cast, Q, the crazy Groppler Zorn, and the episode has a quick cameo by DeForest Kelley – what more could you ask for? This episode also has some really dated sounding synthesizer music cues and funny dialogue – that little speech they gave Picard at the end of the episode is hilarious: “Let’s see what’s out there!” Yeah, as long as we have this big-ass space ship, let’s take a look see. Why not? I also like Wesley’s “Wow!” when Data pulls him out of the water on the holodeck. Friggin awesome! On the other hand, I always found the saucer separation annoying.
Data has a brother?!? Oh snap! And he’s evil! And a twin! Of all the characters on the show to have an evil twin, they picked the android! How awesome is that? Pretty awesome. And wow, that is one fake looking head they used for Lore’s disassembled head – couldn’t they have hidden it a little better from the camera, not shown it from the front? Oh well. This episode is great and lays the ground work for several more episodes to come.
“Skin of Evil”
This episode is plucked right out of my deepest (and darkest) Star Trek desires – Tasha Yar dies! That’s probably the best thing to happen to the show ever. It also has that great yell from Riker, “Data! Something’s got me!” The tar creature has got to be the dumbest Star Trek villain of the TNG series, but it killed Tasha, so I’ll share a six pack with that asshole anytime. This episode also has one of the funniest endings of all time – I’ll just leave it at, “Ah, Worf. We are so alike, you and I.”
“We’ll Always Have Paris”
In my view, this is the first episode that is a real classic from the series, the first episode to really poor it on the Star Trek mystery and does a lot to distance it from The Original Series. Great guest stars, great effects, great sets, great script – this episode has it all. What’s the best episode of season 1? Let’s ask Data. “It’s me!”
This episode does have that Star Trek mystery vibe, but I feel like I’m watching some shitty made for TV movie as it goes along. The awful monster special effects don’t help much. Still, I like this episode very much, and it was nice to see what’s-his-name’s head explode, because he was a dick.